I just had to throw one more strawberry recipe in before the season ends, and what better time to do it than the Forth of July? These tarts can either be all fancy and scooped into tart shells, or another more rustic route (and easier) is to crumble the crust into crumbs and pat into the bottom of a small Mason jar. Your call – either way is delicious. The only trick is: you can make all the parts in advance, but it’s not a great idea to assemble until right before you serve. The crust has a tendency to soak up all that strawberry goodness, so you can lose the crunch factor if you aren’t careful. That being said, it’s a cool breeze to make, so let’s get going!
First thing is the quest to find the ripest, most flavorful berries you can get your hands on. I don’t need to tell you that local is always better. Some will get pureed and used as the major player in the glaze, and the rest are sliced to your specifications to go into the filling. The glaze is super thick, but has a royal ton of strawberry flavor due to the fact that it’s, well…full of strawberries.
While the filling is cooling in the refrigerator, get those tart shells put together. If you opt for the more rustic option and want to use the ‘cookie crumbs in the bottom of the Mason Jar approach’, you will still be baking your crumbs, so either way we need to get busy. …and that’s about all there is to it. You can serve this dessert with just the berries, or opt for a whipped cream or ice cream topping. Save some leftover crumbs if you want and sprinkle over the top!
The filling lasts for at least three days in the fridge and is happy as a clam in there, so don’t worry if you want to make it in advance. Same holds true for the shortbread crust. Now all that’s left to do is chow down….oh…and clean up. Here you see an example of the glamorous life of a food blogger who loves her work – and gets to eat it too!
Happy Independence Day everyone! Thanks so much for reading our blog!! xoxox
- FOR THE PIE FILLING
- 4 heaping hallocks of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered pectin for lower sugar recipes
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD COOKIE CRUST
- 1, 10-ounce box of shortbread cookies (such as Lorna Dunes)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- Whipped cream, whipped and sweetened, or
- Ice cream
- FOR THE PIE FILLING
- Cut enough berries in half to equal 2 cups. Process in a food processor or blender until very smooth. You should have 1-¼ cups of puree.
- In a medium saucepan, combine puree, 1-cup sugar, 1-tablespoon pectin, and pinch of salt. Bring to boil and boil for one minute. Take off the heat, and skim any foam that may have formed on top.
- Mix the 3 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water until smooth. Add to strawberry mixture and return to boil. Lower heat and simmer for a couple of minutes until mixture becomes pretty clear. It will be very thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Reserve ¼ cup of mixture and set aside.
- Slice 1 quart of remaining strawberries into halves or quarters – whatever you prefer.
- Fold the sliced berries into the glaze mixture. Go slowly and make sure all the berries are evenly coated with glaze. Refrigerate until cold.
- Right before serving: Turn the glazed strawberries into the tart shells, if using. Spread fruit evenly.
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD COOKIE CRUST – TWO OPTIONS
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Process cookie crumbs in food processor until finely ground
- Add sugar and melted butter and process until mixed well
- Option 1: Press onto bottom and sides of tart pans. Bake for 10 minutes. It will feel soft, but will firm up as it cools.
- Cool completely before filling.
- Option 2: Spread the crumb mixture out on a cookie sheet and press down. Bake for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and break into pieces or crumble between your fingers to make crumbs. This plan works well if you are going to make individual servings in small Mason jars: Line the bottom of the jar with crumbs as deep as you want, spoon on the cold filling, and top with whipped cream or ice cream